ATP Monte Carlo Odds, Picks | Best Bets For Baez vs Draper, McDonald vs Gakhov (April 10)
Marco Endelli/Getty. Pictured: Sebastian Baez hits a forehand against Lorenzo Sonego in the Argentina Open.
ATP Monte Carlo marks the first clay Masters 1000 event in 2023!
I’ve found value on two of Monday’s exciting first-round matches, featuring Baez vs Draper and McDonald vs Gakhov.
Read on for my ATP Monte Carlo picks.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
ATP Monte Carlos Odds, Picks
Sebastian Baez (-175) vs Jack Draper (+138)
6:30 a.m. ET
Sebastian Baez last played in Estoril, where he made the quarterfinals before falling 3-6, 0-6 to Casper Ruud. The Argentine won just 47% of his service points, getting broken on five occasions.
Despite holding his previous two opponents to under 65% of their first serves won and under 40% of their second serves won, Ruud won 68% of his first serves and 53% of his second serves.
He is 10-4 on clay in 2023, with an impressive 174-69 career-record on the dirt. The Argentine even won an ATP Tour title on clay earlier this season in Cordoba. Baez, despite his short stature, has excellent pop on his serve and groundstrokes. He can play with power from both wings, but is particularly potent with his forehand.
The Argentine also has excellent touch and spreads the court well. While Baez can lose his rally tolerance at times, he is a dynamic clay-court player.
Jack Draper last played in Indian Wells, where he lost via retirement 2-6, 0-2 to Carlos Alcaraz in the round of 16. Draper hit four winners compared to 12 unforced errors and won just 44% of his service points. On return, the Brit won just 19% of his return points and failed to break serve.
Draper has a 16-9 mark on the dirt as a professional. While Draper’s big serve is slowed by the clay, his kick serve is more effective. And Draper’s heavy forehand can dictate from the baseline. However, his backhand is unsteady, he’s not the best mover and Draper has often struggled with his endurance, which doesn’t translate well to long-term clay success.
The Brit, who isn’t the most physical player as-is, has been out since Indian Wells and he’s going against an experienced clay-court technician in Baez.
Baez should be able to extend rallies and drag Draper around the court with variety.
Draper has much less experience on clay compared to Baez and should become frustrated that he’s not able to hit through him. Draper will likely either play safer tennis, with the ball sitting up in Baez’s strike zone, or overhit on his groundstrokes.
Pick: Baez -2.5 games (-115 via PointsBet)
Mackenzie McDonald (-178) vs Ivan Gakhov (+148)
7 a.m. ET
Mackenzie McDonald hasn’t played since Miami, where he suffered a third-round loss 6-7(2), 3-6 to Quentin Halys. Despite winning just 45% of his second serves, McDonald won 71% of his first serves against Halys, getting broken just twice. However, McDonald won just 27% of his return points, not breaking serve once.
He hasn’t played on clay this year, and the American is just 27-27 on the dirt in his career. McDonald has a strong first serve and groundstrokesthat cut through the court nicely, but his game doesn’t translate very well to clay. He seems unsure of his movement, his groundstrokes don’t have a ton of spin and his rally tolerance comes and goes.
Ivan Gakhov qualified for Monte Carlo with a 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 victory over Luca van Assche. Gakhov won just 44% of his second-serve points and was broken four times, although he did win 67% of his first serves. However, the Russian won 49% of his return points, breaking van Assche’s serve five times.
Gakhov is 8-3 on clay this season, having recently won the Girona Challenger. As a professional, the Russian has an impressive 390-213 record on the dirt, although many of these matches were lower-level matches. Gakhov dictates with his heavy, lefty forehand. He spreads the court well and absorbs pace effectively, neutralizing points and counterpunching.
He understands point construction on clay, employing smart shot selection and showcasing excellent variety. But, the Russian’s backhand can sometimes break down and he is a bit underpowered.
While McDonald is the better player, it will be tough playing his first clay match of the season against an experienced, in-form clay courter. This is especially the case as McDonald’s flatter game doesn’t even translate well to clay.
McDonald has more power than Gakhov, but the Russian absorbs pace well and should test McDonald’s rally tolerance. Gakhov’s variety should drag McDonald around the court and out of the “baseline-centric comfort zone” the American is used to.
I also trust Gakhov’s movement and point construction on clay better than McDonald’s.
Pick: Gakhov +2.5 games (-108 via FanDuel)
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